The Instigator
Pro (for)
5 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

The bible advocates war, revenge, slavery, rape and even genocide

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/1/2015 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,111 times Debate No: 72719
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (77)
Votes (3)




I'm creating this debate in the vain hope that nobody will accept it. Whilst the proposition should really be an open-and-shut case, I'm sure that somebody out there will try to defend the "good book".

Why anybody would have the frankly risible notion that we might be able to derive a decent moral perspective based upon the writings of bronze-age and iron-age farmers, I have no idea... but there you are... somebody today (almost 3,500 years after some of the book was written) will almost certainly take up the fight to defend the inerrant and ideally moral nature of what they believe to be the words of an almighty supernatural being.

It does beggar belief, if you think about it.

Opinions aside, though, the bible really does advocate war, revenge, slavery, rape and genocide.

I think that Christians should know that. It's embarrassing. It also throws into question whether it's at all reasonable for Christians to castigate, for instance, homosexuals based on scripture. I mean, when your justification for the vilification of a behaviour is a book that advocates genocide, I think you need to grow up and take a harder look at your opinions.

So bring it on... who thinks that the bible does not advocate these things!?


I accept and remind the voters that pro must prove that the bible advocates far every single thing listed. If I show it does not advocate for even a single one of those things, than I win. If he fails to prove it advocates for a single item on that list, pro loses.

Here is the definition of advocate, I request people keep handy, as I think it will be relevant to the debate at hand to pay particular attention to it.

Advocate: to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly:
He advocated higher salaries for teachers.
Debate Round No. 1


Well, thank you for accepting; let's get started!

I'm glad that you drew attention to the word "advocate"; I chose it carefully. I'm also glad that you have chosen a definition that I am happy to work with. I hope that you won't mind me focusing on the first part of your definition and removing the redundant part about speech.

Advocate: Write in favour of

I completely agree that for me to win the debate I must show that the bible advocates each and every one of the things that I claim it does. That's not going to be a problem!

So, let's start with Numbers 31. That particularly pernicious chapter demonstrates clearly 4/5 of my points and hints at the last!

I suggest the Bible Gateway and the NIV for analysis but I'll be happy to discuss any other translations. In the case that Con and I argue over translations, I suggest that a scholarly analysis of the original text trumps specific translations.

Anyhow, I quote:
The Lord said to Moses "Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites".
There's revenge sorted (vengeance is violent revenge). I'm 20% of the way to victory, woohoo!

Turning to verse 7, we have:
They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and killed every man.
Wow, that's a double-whammy! I reckon I can cross war and genocide off my bingo card. 60% there... this is too easy!

So, let's paint the picture... the leaders of the army have returned from their conquest of Midian. They have performed genocide already (as commanded by God, through Moses); they have pillaged, they have stolen, they have destroyed. Anything that they couldn't take with them, they have burnt or otherwise destroyed. They have brought back all the survivors (of war and subsequent genocide) to the camp.

But this was not enough for Moses. In fact, he was angered that they had so failed to be evil enough. But don't take my word for it, read verses 17 and 18:
Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

Oooo, what can I claim here? I think it's fair to tick slavery off the list... and I reckon I've got an implication for rape, too, although I'll concede that's not a certainty from this verse. Let's call that 90% so far. Nearly there!

Let's go to Deuteronomy 21, verses 10 through 14:
When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonoured her.

Now, we might argue a little over the definition of rape... but what I'm reading here clearly falls into that category in my book... we have (presumably) non-consensual sexual intercourse. Could I get agreement that this is a clear advocacy of non-consensual sexual intercourse? Personally, I don't think that you can have non-consensual sexual intercourse without a rape having occurred... what do you think, Con?



Let's review what my opponent must do to when this debate. Not only does he must prove the bible advocates for war, revenge, slavery, rape, and even genocide. Please don't confuse the word advocate for condone. My opponent must also prove the bible as a whole approves of these things, not that there are a few exceptions that make allowances for these sorts of things.

One thing I'll touch on when I get into the rebuttal round is the laws God created that only applies to the nation of Israel in the time of Moses and the rules of engagement given for Israelites during times of war are different from the ethical framework the bible gives for it's people.

General Argument

The Bible commands that Christians follow the laws of the governing bodies that reside over them.

Romans 13:1-2

"Let every person pbe subject to the governing authorities. For qthere is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."

Most people live in societies that ban many of the things my opponent mentions. So performing the atrocities mentioned is something The bible is quite clearly advocating against.


The bible quite clearly condemns murder in many instances.

Exodus 20:13

"Though shalt not kill"

Leviticus 24:17 "And he that kills any man shall surely be put to death."
Revelation 21:8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."


The bible clearly states that God is the only entity who has the right to commit vengeance, though the God of the bible makes it clear he'd rather forgive.

Romans 12:19 "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, said the Lord."


God made laws against rape for his people.

In Deuteronomy 22:13-29 The bible specifically condemns forcing a woman against her will into sex, which is what we refer to as rape in these times.

In Deuteronomy 22: 25-27 The bible states that the punishment for rape should be stoning a man to death while considering the woman innocent.

"25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. 26 Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor, 27 for the man found the young woman out in the country, and though the betrothed woman screamed, there was no one to rescue her."


I am running short on time, but this is a 5 round debate, so we can pace ourselves. The interesting part of this debate comes in the rebuttal rounds, which is round 3, so without further ado, I welcome my opponents rebuttals.
Debate Round No. 2


I'm not sure where my opponent got the idea that round 3 is a rebuttal round; I'm happy to give or receive rebuttals in any round.

The bible does advocate the things that I say it does. It may contradict its own advocacy elsewhere, perhaps, but that is not the point. The debate doesn't mention "overall" in the title. The debate isn't about whether the bible is more for these things or more against them. The question, ladies and gentlemen, is whether the bible ever speaks in support of (advocates) revenge, war, slavery, rape and genocide. The simple fact is that it does, which I hope I have clearly demonstrated.

I'm mostly going to focus on slavery for this round, though, because the bible is pretty clear and non-contradictory on the issue of slavery; the bible is pro-slavery and the bible is not anti-slavery. If you are interested in God's rules about slavery, you can learn from the bible:

1. How to buy and sell slaves
2. How to treat slaves (within how many inches of their life you may beat them)
3. How slaves should behave
4. How to leave slaves to your children

So, let's have a look at a selection of verses from the many, many available...

Leviticus 25
44 Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

Exodus 21
20 Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

Ephesians 6 (New Testament)
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

1 Peter 2 (New Testament)
18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

So, I would say that it's pretty clear that the bible advocates slavery. It's unambiguous on the issue.

Now, I'd like to focus on something specific and worrying to me that Con said:
"God made laws against rape for his people"
This shortly before citing Deuteronomy.

So, which is it to be, Con? You can't have your cake and eat it...
I don't believe in any gods, myself, but if you believe "God made laws against rape for his people"
Then you must also believe "God made laws allowing slavery for his people"

Also, when did these laws become redundant? If in your World view God made it a law that rape should be punishable by a jolly good stoning outside the city walls, surely that rule still applies? There's nothing in the bible that suggests that any of the old laws should be lost... indeed, Jesus is said to specifically claim that he comes not to change the old laws.

Anyhow, I've got a pretty killer argument against Con's rape rebuttals:
The bible did speak up against rape as it defined the word.
As far as the bible is concerned, forcing slaves or conquered women to have sex with you is not rape. It's only rape in the bible's eyes if the woman is betrothed to another. You have to understand that as far as the bible is concerned, all women are property.
The bible certainly condones and in some cases prescribes what we now call "rape".

Con uses Deuteronomy to tell us about the laws that God made; here's another one:
As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labour. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the Lord your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the Lord your God has given you.

You must attack the town, kill every man, you may enjoy the women.

Advocacy, good friends, advocacy.

In fact, we have advocacy of three out of five of my contentions in one snippet!
War? Check!
Slavery? Check! (what do you suppose those children were for?)
Rape? Check! (what do you suppose those women were for?)


Wylted forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


I'll be fair since you lost a round and simply entertain myself and hopefully others by citing a letter from Kent Ashcraft to Dr. Laura [1]

Dear Dr. Laura: Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific Bible laws and how to follow them:

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality? I don't agree. Can you settle this?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)?

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

I would like to know, out of interest, Wylted; do you believe that a homosexual act is a sin - and do you think that citing the bible to justify that position is reasonable? I know that's not relevant to the debate, but it would help me gauge what level of obstinacy I'm up against.




The way in which the resolution is written, my opponent has to prove that the bible advocates for each and every one of the things listed in the resolution. The resolution isn't clear, and can be interpreted in several different ways. A lot of people would've interpreted the resolution to mean that the bible "always" advocates for war or advocates for every war. I interpreted it to be that the bible as a whole advocates for war, which is a balanced interpretation that gives both sides plenty of ground for arguing. It isn't my fault my opponent did not make the resolution clear and I shouldn't be punished for it. I'd appreciate the judges interpreting the resolution the way I suggested, because it is the most balanced interpretation and the only one offered which gives a full interpretation.

So the question to ask yourself is "does the bible advocate for war?", which involves judging the book (or collection of books) as a whole. It would be just as unfair for me to win a debate that the bible doesn't advocate for those things by pointing out a few instances where it doesn't as it is for my opponent to also point out a few places where it does.

The bible is a very large book, written over a long period of time. You can expect that there will be incidences that take place which run the gambit. There are no doubt the bible advocates for several of these things in small isolated incidents, but those incidents are the exception to the rule, and is one of the reasons why it is brought up. They are basically the exceptions that prove the rule.


My opponent brings up several examples of some things permitted only in time of war. Wave Nunnaly PHD (a biblical scholar), says a few things regarding these engagements of war, which I've already touched on.

"1) these "rules for engagement" came with geographical limitations. There were lots of "Amorites" living all over the ANE, but only the ones living within the biblical borders of Israel were to be exterminated.

2) There were ethnic limitations. Only the "seven nations of the Amorites" were to be exterminated--this would exclude from extermination the most vicious enemies of Israel: the Philistines, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Arameans (Syrians), and the Edomites. It would even exclude the Phoenicians, whose export of Baal worship continually plagued Israel down to the Exile.

3) There were chronological limitations: when the conquest was basically complete, these rules of engagement were suspended, never to be reinstituted again, and Israel(or some form of Israel) existed for three or four times the amount of time the USA has existed as an independent nation.

4) the decree of destruction was STRICTLY limited to PEOPLE--the destruction of homes, vineyards, and orchards was expressly forbidden. Only the people were to be destroyed--the God of the Bible had no "Scorched Earth Policy" as did Saddam Hussein. Instead, God's commands, even in the midst of a giant conflagration, were incredibly environmentally friendly.

5) the form of the Hebrew verb used in the "intrusion ethics" commands requires that the word be translated "execute", which precludes prejudice (sparing certain ones because they were pretty, strong, small, young, wealthy, influential, etc.). this meant absolute equity in carrying out the sentence. It also ensured that torture would not be employed, and that rape would not be employed to demoralize the surviving elements of the defeated society. God even decreed that the Israelites make an "offer of peace" to outlying enemies before attacking them (Deut. 20:10), wait to be attacked (Deut. 20:12), and spare non-combatants (Deut. 20:14)--none of which were standard operation procedure in the biblical world."

This disproves everything my opponent has said, but I'll continue to drive the point home.


My opponent has asked me a few questions last round and I'll do my best to answer them, but it is merely for my own amusement and this section can be skipped if it pleases the voters.

Andy, The laws you quoted were all from the times of Moses and only relevant for that time period and for those specific people. The laws of the bible can be split into some different subsections, the ones you speak of are just local laws and do not apply now, and furthermore even if they did apply now, than a few of the ones brought up would be something for the courts to handle and not individuals as the author quoted implies.

Next my opponent asks if homosexuality is a sin. My answer to that is that yes it does violate the rules of Christianity when acted upon. So technically it is a sin. Me being atheist and all, I am not concerned about biblical laws. My opponent then asks is it okay to cite the bible for a Christian to defend his beliefs. I'd say it is reasonable for a Christian to do so, but if they want to be influential it is better they use that sort of rhetoric just with like minded believers, and try to use a different style of argumentation with the general public.

@Andy, we're both atheists. The difference is that you read and interpret the bible with an agenda in mind, while I try to learn what it really says.


I've actually shown where the bible expressly forbids rape, and it says so in close proximity to a lot of the passages my opponent claims justifies rape.

Here is a quote my opponent took from the bible.

"When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonoured her."

Nowhere in here does it mention rape. My opponent is just trying to read between the lines, when it would be impossible to do so based on text we don't fully know how to interpret from a culture that in no way resembles ours. You have to take these statements at face value. When you combine that fact, with the fact that for women to be a widow was a death sentence in that age. If an Israelite fell in love with a woman who was a bride of a fallen enemy soldier, he was most certainly saving her from a life of poverty and even death. You have to remember in these periods of time that women were second class citizens and often times found it impossible to support themselves.

I challenge my opponent to find one bible verse that advocates for rape. He can't do it, they all advocate for putting a rapist to death, in a few scenarios rape stories are shown, but it never advocates for it. The verse he quoted doesn't even mention it, he just leaps to some conclusions based on his projection of modern day culture on ancient societies, combined with the fact he has an anti-theist agenda.


My opponent hasn't proven that the bible advocates for any of the things he mentioned , except for maybe slavery. Emphasis on maybe, and that is only because I don't have adequate space to get into what was meant by the term in that culture in that time period.

Easy vote even if I am too lazy to post the next round. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4


-= Interpretation of the debate =-

First of all, I think that it's important that we clear up what the debate is about. I wish I didn't have to do this, but my opponent says: A lot of people would've interpreted the resolution to mean that the bible "always" advocates for war or advocates for every war.

Am I also to defend the idea that the bible advocates every example of rape that ever has or will occur?
No, nobody should be reading "always" or "every" into a title in which those words do not feature.

I accept the possibility that overall the bible is against something that, in places, it appears to be for. However, for my opponent to win the debate on these grounds, the burden of proof is rightly in my opponent's court, so to speak.

If I can show that sometimes the bible says "go to war", I have literally shown that it advocates war. That really should be it for the purposes of this debate... but, I will be generous and concede that if the bible says "do not go to war" more often than it says "go to war" then, despite the occasional advocacy, overall the bible may be against war. I think it is wrong to then conclude that the bible does not advocate war... it does advocate war, it's just occasionally contradictory. However, in case any voters think, like Con, that this would exonerate the bible of "advocacy", I will say the following:

If the bible says "go to war" and the defence is "but it also says to love thy neighbour", this is no defence. Seriously, it's just not talking to the same thing. If one of the ten commandments was "never go to war", I might accept the point... oh, ok, yes, it's true that one of the ten commandments is not to kill... except that it isn't. "Kill" is the wrong word[1]. The original Hebrew wording of that commandment is such that it allows for lawful killing, such as in a holy war or a just Mosaic stoning - and Christians generally agree with me [2].

Thus I contend that the bible is staunchly pro-war. It often has instruction from the protagonist, God, to go to war. There are literal instructions on how to go about it. People are rewarded for doing it. This is war advocacy, have no doubt. AND, the bible NEVER says that war is wrong. Not once. Just like the bible never says that slavery is wrong.

I think that Con and I would agree, based on the debate so far, that slavery is my strongest case and rape is my weakest. I knew this when I created the debate and I debated in my head whether to include rape on my list. In the end, I kept it in there because I remain convinced that the bible advocates rape.

So, I think where I'm at on my list is thus:

The bible clearly calls on people to go to war. The bible never says that war is wrong.
The bible clearly calls on people (say, Moses) to take vengeance. The bible occasionally says that vengeance is wrong.
e.g. - Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
c.f. - 2 Thessalonians 1:6 Since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you
The bible clearly calls on people to take slaves in war. The bible never says that taking slaves is wrong.
The bible promotes genocide. The bible never says that genocide is wrong.

And now, for the remainder of my focus, rape...

The bible implies that it in some cases, it is okay to have sex with somebody against their will based on your desire. It does argue that sleeping with somebody betrothed is wrong, but it's quite lenient about other forms of forced sexual congress. We have to be careful to interpret and translate in time as well as words what is meant by "rape".

I am taking a modern definition of rape... when the word "rape" appears in the title of the debate, it means what it means to you and I in the ordinary 21st century sense; it is this act which I say the bible often condones and, to a strong degree, recommends, even if the bible does not call it rape. Sure, the bible never says "go out and rape people"... but that doesn't mean that the bible doesn't advocate rape... it does!

I hope that you, gentle voters, will agree with me here: if God himself is said to facilitate a rape, given the special place that God has in the bible, it would be fair to say that the bible is advocating rape. Also, I hope that you will agree that non-consensual sexual intercourse is rape. In that light, I ask you to turn your attention to 2 Samuel 12 : 11-12

"This is what the Lord says: "Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.""

We have God himself literally carrying innocent rape victims to their perpetrators! Okay, the bible might not have called it rape, but under a modern interpretation of the word, these wives were going to be slept with whether they willed it or not.

That is advocacy of rape, plain and simple.

Not convinced by that example, how about Deuteronomy 21 : 11-13?
If you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.

Is this not advocacy of rape? I mean, let's look at what's involved here: a man may take his pick from the genocide survivors... yes, all of the men and mothers from this poor group of people have been slaughtered, their lands destroyed and the surviving virgins and children have been forced into slavery. Now, if any bloke's feeling a bit randy, he can force sexual relations by beating them to within an inch of their lives if they don't comply. It is enough to turn your stomach, but it's what the bible says is God's law. A law, I might add, that the New Testament does not abolish.

What about the story of Lot? He was chosen by God as an especially good man, who deserved to be saved when God wrought his vengeance on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot was not a rapist. In fact, he was a multiple rape victim - both of his daughters raped him when he was drunk... but what Lot had done, immediately before God saved him, was offer his two teenage virgin daughters to a randy baying mob so that they could gang-rape them.

Genesis 19 : 4-8

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom"both young and old"surrounded the house. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, "No, my friends. Don"t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don"t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof."

The fact that Lot was prepared to allow his daughters to be gang-raped is not enough to convict the bible of advocacy of rape... but the fact that God then proceeds to save this moral paragon of a man is highly suggestive. The biblical view of women as chattel, as owned property (women always had to be legally owned by a man - first her father then her husband), as bargaining chips to be bought and sold at will (parents could sell their daughters into slavery), as objects, is fundamentally disturbing. To you, gentle reader, that might have been "all right back then 'cos it was the norm" but I urge you, if you think like this, to be honest at least to agree that the bible did advocate what we would now know as "rape". This much appears to me to be a simple fact.

I'm honestly not sure how the voting's going to go on this one. I know that there are a lot of people out there who will bend over backwards to defend the bible of anything... it's a contentious subject. I beg you, though, not bear false witness to your own minds... you've seen the bible verses... do you think that the bible ever writes in favour of war, revenge, slavery, rape and genocide?

[1] Thou shalt not murder
[2] Biblical stance on war from a Christian perspective



Here is the resolution: "The bible advocates for war, revenge, slavery, rape, and even genocide."

Like I was saying before, there are multiple ways to interpret the resolution, and I shouldn't be punished because my opponent didn't make the resolution clear enough. I was actually pretty nice and interpreted the resolution in a way that gave both our sides plenty of ground to argue on. It would be unfair to say him cherry picking verses in the bible that advocate for something in a very isolated way is enough to say the bible advocates for it.

It is possible for a passage in the bible to advocate for war, while the bible is actually against it. We have to look at the big picture, and not pretend as if a few verses are enough to say the entire body of work advocates for something. If my opponent wanted to argue that the first 5 books in the bible advocate for war, he should have stated so, but instead we are arguing whether the compilation of the 55 books (give or take some depending on religion), advocate for those things.

Remember also that he has to prove the bible advocates for these things, not condone, not give permission for, not portray, but advocates for. It is possible for the bible to condone, give permission for and portray slavery without actually advocating for it.

Before leaving this section, imagine if I said that my opponent advocates for slavery, and cherry picked a few statements he made in the past that pointed to that. Would that be fair? Or would it be more fair if I zoomed out instead of cherry picking a few things he said. I ask the judges to judge this debate and the bible in the same way. Not only that, my opponent has to prove 6 different things and quite frankly if I forfeited every round, he wouldn't have the space to do so.


Typically when one side of a debate forfeits a round they usually win conduct points, but consider a few things, such as Pro's blatant ad hominem attacks on Christians that took place in the opening round, and rude insinuations that were apparent in other places. It would be reasonable for the judges to abandon conduct points altogether and even award them to me.

Just a note for the judges, my opponent basically concedes the debate if my interpretation is accepted, and my interpretation absolutely should be accepted.

"I accept the possibility that overall the bible is against something that, in places, it appears to be for. However, for my opponent to win the debate on these grounds, the burden of proof is rightly in my opponent's court, so to speak."

Also, just a note. The burden of proof is fully on my opponent in this case, not that it matters because of the incredibly large margin I have won this debate by.


My opponent is trying to read between the lines here and in doing so he projects his own biases on a people from 5,000 years ago whose cultures, even anthropologists don't fully understand. I've also shown that taking a wife from an occupied territory in no way implies forcibly nor is forcible sex any where expressly permitted, but in verses in close proximity to the ones my opponent quotes, I actually show verses of the bible that expressly forbid rape.

All my arguments about women being basically condemned to a life of extreme poverty (not the first world poverty we're used to seeing but actual poverty), and even death from not being able to support herself and her children. If the bible had forbidden the Jews from marrying the widows of conquered lands, he would have been condemning many women to a horrid existence.


This is an easy vote. As Con I win. My opponent drops my arguments about women being second class citizens, he drops my arguments about killing and war being forbidden except for in a few specific instances, he drops my arguments that the bible commands the followers of Jesus to obey the laws of the governing authorities which are usually condemning of rape, murder and slavery. This doesn't even mention the fact that my opponent doesn't even make a case for revenge.

I won this debate, vote con. Have a good day.
Debate Round No. 5
77 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by really12 2 years ago

I would vote but for a very unusual reason (I don't know what it is) I can't. I have tried to vote, I have an apt amount of points to vote but I do not receive a confirmation code via sms for some reason. Further, I have contacted support but for some reason I an unable to vote.

Since you stated that you "...don't mind either way -" I just post comments as a substitute to voice my opinion or otherwise fact.
Posted by AndyHood 2 years ago
Personal Message - Wylted is requesting that you don't litter the comments of this debate with what appears to him to be better of done between us. I don't mind either way - I'm relatively confident that voters do not allow their voting decision to be based on anything that exists in the comments!
Posted by really12 2 years ago
PM? I am fairly new here and in today's world "PM" is an ambiguous abbreviation, so please clarify.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Take it to a PM please
Posted by really12 2 years ago

To further clarify my first reason for this debate being invalid, you stated that you were basing this debate upon your "interpretation" (I.e. opinion). Hence, the title of this debate states it in factual sense, and therefore opinions cannot be used for rebuttal as that would not make it a debate. In conclusion, the title of this debate is not pertinent to its agenda, therefore, it is an invalid debate.

Previous clarification below this comment.
Posted by really12 2 years ago

"If there are bible scholars, great. You can believe their interpretation, not mine, fine..."

If this debate is focusing on your interpretation then it is valid for the following reasons:

A. Its agenda is not pertinent to its title.

B. Such an interpretation of the bible is one's own opinion (yours) and one's own opinion cannot be debated as it is their opinion and their opinion alone, even if it is erroneous which I believe yours is (my opinion).
Posted by AndyHood 2 years ago
I guess that my point is this:

If there are bible scholars, great. You believe their interpretation, not mine, fine. Then you should be able to say why without recourse to an argument from authority.

If you are prepared to read the bible with such degrees of "interpretation" as I suspect you are, that's FINE. I have no real issue with that, if I'm honest... I mean, you'd HAVE to interpret your way to some distance from some of the nastier things that the bible says... it doesn't make sense to me that you think an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent creator would ever have to tacitly approve of these things, no matter the justification, but maybe you think God is sometimes wicked, or the bible is sometimes wrong... I don't know... but if we have to take this distance to find ourselves not being pro slavery, how come Christians can't unanimously agree that homosexuality is not a sin?
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
I'm talking about atheist biblical scholars as well. In many instances you're challenging what every single expert says on this, a simple Google search with enough sense to ignore all non scholars on the issue would quickly prove my points.
Posted by AndyHood 2 years ago
Wylted, perhaps you have to read what the BIBLE says on these things. Not only does the bible seem to support these things, we have direct sanction from God, or orders from God, or even practical support from God... that's what the book says... you can interpret it in intelligent ways, if you like, saying that the people at the time were being reasonable because if you didn't commit genocide and enslave the virgins, it would happen to you... but it doesn't change the fact of what the bible SAYS is that God is pro that stuff. If the bible reporting that God is FOR something doesn't count as a positive endorsement, what on Earth does? How could the bible express ANYTHING that you wouldn't be prepared to explain away using "biblical scholarship"? And that's a pretty poor I'm-hiding-behind-mummy's-leg argument, unless you can explain to us what exactly this wisdom that biblical scholarship sees that we don't, as we read the plain words in front of us.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
You guys really need to read what biblical scholars have to say on these things, the Old Testament doesn't support that stuff an the old covenant still stands,
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro loses on the "revenge" part of the resolution. Con demonstrates in Round 2 that the Bible maintains, as a general rule, that only God has a right to take revenge. Meanwhile, Pro is only able to show a specific instance in which God gave special permission to Moses to take revenge on the Midianites, and then doesn't mention revenge for the rest of the debate. However, all this does is show a single divinely-ordained exemption from the Bible's general condemnation of revenge; Pro has to affirm that the Bible *as a whole* advocates revenge, and he completely neglects to do that. Thus, I vote Con on arguments. Pro set up an unnecessarily complex burden of proof for himself to fulfill and that ended up coming back to haunt him. Conduct to Pro for the FF.
Vote Placed by tejretics 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's argument was regarding women being inferior citizens, which was dropped by Pro, but is nonetheless irrelevant to the resolution. While Con clearly demonstrated where the Bible condemns war, revenge, slavery, etc, the resolution was simple: even IF the Bible condemned it, if it ALSO advocated it, because of the simplicity of the resolution, the victory goes to Pro. Pro clearly quoted the Bible where it advocated the said crimes as mentioned in the resolution (i.e. war, revenge, slavery, rape, and genocide). The definition of "advocate" was accepted by Con. Conduct to Pro because Con forfeited a round. Nonetheless, Con was doomed to be defeated from the start because of Pro's tactics (intentional or unintentional) regarding the twisting of the resolution to in their favor.
Vote Placed by Domr 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct is equal. 1 for FF, and 1 for ad hominem attack against Christians, Con clearly showed that rape was not truly advocated, as it was only assumed that there was rape, instead of taking for marriage.